Fake - Mystery Ship at Alcatraz!!!
|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure||
A fabulous and large, but sadly untitled, antique watercolour of a mystery ship and location...
Alcatraz - The high end Toronto auction house that sold off this original watercolour entitled it Alcatraz, all based on their art expert's research. Alcatraz is the historic prison island in San Francisco Bay.
Which is why, when buying auction items, and even - especially - paintings from high end auction houses, you better know what you're buying yourself, before you throw good money after bad art...
There are, of course, many island headlands with lighthouses on them...
Clearly the ship is the clue, not the island! This is obviously an American war ship of the Spanish-American War era.
|USS Indiana Passing Morro Castle, Entering Havana Harbour, Cuba - 1898 - JG Stewart|
|Orig. watercolour - Image Size - 26 x 44 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
When comparing this fabulous watercolour image to photos of the US fleet of the 1890s we quickly come up with none other than the USS Indiana.
The Indiana class of battleship (including sister ships Oregon and Massachusetts) was launched in 1893 to counter the powerful new ships of European and South American countries.
The Indiana is generally considered to be the first modern battleship of the US Navy. She carried 4 x 13" and 8 x 8" guns as primary armament and a complement of some 475 crew.
Along with her sister ships she took part in blockading the Spanish fleet inside Santiago Bay, Cuba, in 1898. When the Spanish ships tried to flee they were chased and all were sunk, run ashore, or captured. The Indiana herself sank two Spanish warships that tried to escape.
The Battle of Santiago Bay was a great victory at the time and gave control over Cuba to the United States.
The foreign island came in very handy a century later, so Americans could build an offshore terror complex at Guantanamo Bay - a land base taken from Cuba in perpetuity - where they could freely imprison, torture, and kill non-white, Muslim prisoners without having to obey or worry about mainland US law or follow the Geneva Convention. In 2008 the United States, "Home of the Brave & Land of the Free," has more foreign-based prison complexes, where it routinely tortures and kills foreigners with impunity, than any other nation in the world. Scores of such deaths are documented.
The Indiana underway.
To see a fabulous game featuring the Indiana's sister ship Oregon
Still what about Alcatraz?
The Indiana was clearly painted with loving detail by someone who probably served on her during the Spanish-American War and affectionately hung the picture on a favourite wall all during his lifetime.
Better to look for a Cuban - not a US - tie-in...
Those with sharp eyes and a good historical memory - like ours - had picked the location long before identifying the ship.
In fact the scene was a favourite during the Spanish American era as shown in the photo below with the USS Maine passing Morro Castle at the entrance to Havana harbour in Cuba during peace time. Only weeks after the photo was taken the Maine blew up mysteriously inside the harbour and war began.
So our picture is of the Indiana passing Morro Castle as it enters Havana harbour.
Morro Castle was built at the entrance to Havana Harbour shortly after Columbus discovered America.
Today it is a museum where one can see the torture chambers where Spaniards tortured and killed Cubans who protested their rulers. But don't expect to see torturing there today; of course that was stopped there when the Spaniards left over a hundred years ago.
To find torturing and killing in 2008 you have to travel across Cuba to Guantanamo Bay where Americans have turned their famous naval station there into a prison complex where they have locked up and shackled, hundreds of non-white Muslims, all of whom they have tortured, many to death.
Countless others they have beaten so badly they have committed suicide rather than go on living under their American masters.
Left Gitmo prisoners shackled and cowed after being beaten, waiting their turn for the next stage of their "interrogation" which, of course, is American double-speak for extreme torture unto death.
"Now you've done it Joe. I told you not to keep his head under so long."
"Ah forget it. Just bring in the next detestable murdering scumbag."
All of it, today, by choice, part of the proud legacy of the United States Navy...
After years of torturing and beating, is it any surprise that some survivors have "confessed" and are now facing the death penalty.
While it is hardly surprising that American behaviour, at home and abroad, has created millions more enemies in the non-white, non-Christian world, than ever before, it is a stunning truism that it has simultaneously created a tidal wave of disgust among white, Christian people - countless millions more than ever before in History - who detest America and all it stands for.
For example, the Americans have held a non-white Muslim Canadian citizen (Omar Khadr left born in Ottawa, Ontario) locked up in Guantanamo Bay for almost six years (in 2008), allowing him no choice of legal counsel, no communication with the press, the outside world, or his family, and have charged him with killing an American soldier in Afghanistan where he was captured at the age of 15. No it was not during a Taliban attack; it was during an American attack on a compound where young Omar was hanging out.
He was subsequently tortured (Americans call it "interrogation") at famous US torture centre Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, by the same US soldier who was found guilty of the beating, torture, and murder of an Afghan taxi driver there. The convicted murderer now says he was nice to Omar...
The New York Times published documents on the murder of two Afghans at Bagram who were hung by the wrists from the ceiling, draped with chains (Chains are added to a body to make it heavier so the pain is greater when hung off the ground) and routinely beaten by American jailers who took turns, and pleasure (lots of laughter is reported) at hearing the cries of pain the Afghans gave before they died. One was so terribly beaten the coroner's report said his legs were so badly mangled it looked like a truck had been driven over them...
The facts were clear. 15 US soldiers were subsequently charged by the US Army - it's called PR; most charges were dropped; some demotions and a dismissal were handed out. So much for the value of non-white Muslim lives if they become prisoners of white Christian American military crusaders.
After a short stay at Bagram, Omar was then moved to Guantanamo where the torture was continued.
The US says the ***detestable murdering scumbag (Omar was actually a child soldier and only 15 when captured) had killed a US soldier even though, when apprehended - remember he was attacked, not attacking anyone, so presumably even entitled to self-defence - Omar had two huge holes in his chest - an observer said he actually could see Omar's heart beating - which were exit wounds from being shot in the back.
***Canada's top soldier, General Rick Hillier famously announced at a press conference - where he outlined Canada's war aims in Afghanistan - that his job and that of the Canadian Forces there, was "to be able to kill people" namely "the detestable murderers and scumbags" referring to the likes of 15 year old Omar Khadr.
Not very glorious wounds for a supposed fanatic killer; more like a kid running scared away from danger. (Recall how the US Army created a Rambo attack dog, fiercely confronting and firing at the Iraquis during the war, out of young Private Jessica Lynch. She later publicly denounced the Army for lying; she says she never fired her weapon at all and, far from attacking courageously, was frightened to death, and understandably cowering with fear during the fire fight.)
Contemporary US Army documents were also altered/forged to make it look as if Omar was the only possible killer of the US soldier, in direct contradiction to the written account of a US observer there at the time.
The US Army and Administration was/is desperate to prosecute/kill/murder someone/anyone captured in Afghanistan, even if the best they can do is execute a kid... (The US said his young age did not exclude him from being executed if found guilty, though subsequently it took that option off the table.)
At least you can't blame the Americans for hypocrisy...
Hell, the US is the only white European country which by 2008 still routinely executes children for murder.
Something only a tiny handful of the most regressive uncivilized countries in the world continue to do.